Trump will appoint Belichick, Herschel Walker to Sports Council

Shutdown Corner
Bill Belichick and President Donald Trump. (Getty)
Bill Belichick and President Donald Trump. (Getty)

President Trump is seeking to appoint several notable figures from the sporting world, including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, to his newly reconstituted Sports Council. Here are the details.

What is the Sports Council?

The Sports Council, which falls under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, is Trump’s rebranding of what President Obama termed the Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Under Obama, and with the guidance of First Lady Michelle Obama, the council focused on improving nutrition for children. Under Trump, the council will seek to improve youth participation in sports.

Who will serve on the Sports Council?

At the moment, the Department of Health and Human Services’ “Meet The Council” page is nothing more than a series of “To Be Announced” listings. Trump’s recommendations would fill out those spaces.

Per Axios, Belichick will be invited to serve on the council, along with Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, former Yankee Mariano Rivera, former NFL running back Herschel Walker, golfer Natalie Gulbis, and Dr. Mehmet Oz.

The Patriots released a statement from Belichick on the appointment on Friday afternoon:

“The Council’s mission aligns with my beliefs and several of the Bill Belichick Foundation’s goals and values as they relate to sports, youth athletics and personal health and wellness.  The physical fitness of children in our country is an apolitical issue that is extremely important to our future. When I was contacted by Ivanka Trump and asked to participate, I was humbled to be asked and honored to accept, as I would have done for any administration. I know that a lot of great leaders have participated on the Council over the past half century, some who are personal inspirations to me, and I am eager to lend any assistance I can to its ongoing mission.”

Why were these sports figures selected?

Well, it’s pretty obvious why you’d select someone like Belichick, who’s a five-time Super Bowl winner and universally regarded as one of the best coaches in sports history. Belichick’s also a longtime Trump supporter, both publicly and privately. Other potential council members have longstanding connections to Trump; Gulbis was once a contestant on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Walker also competed on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and was the key cog on Trump’ss short-lived USFL team, the New Jersey Generals.

What’s next for the Sports Council?

According to Axios, HHS Secretary Alex Azar will host the council’s first meeting; Ivanka Trump and Surgeon General Jerome Adams have been involved in the planning. According to Axios’s sources, the Trump administration notes “youth sports participation has declined over the last decade, particularly among young girls and children from economically distressed communities.” The council’s efforts will focus on helping children develop “self-esteem” and “self-discipline” through sports.
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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